The ART Conference went to Royston

The snow, the snow

Snow drifts in South Wales

On Saturday, everything was very well organised - Graham and his team did a brilliant job reorganising speakers and their time-slots at the last minute (allowing for people who could not make it due to the weather and illness.)

As far as we were concerned, the snow did not spoil the day at all. We enjoyed the buzzy atmosphere; interesting sessions; lots of people to chat with; a lovely lunch; and non-stop availability of tea/coffee and biscuits was an excellent idea! Jacquie Hazell & Vikki Bulbeck

Young people and ringing

I enjoyed the whole conference very much, and I think that we can take heart that the youth side of things is flourishing. I was totally in awe of Charlie Brumdinger’s PowerPoint slides which folded up and flew away – magic! Shelagh Cox

Attending an ART conference never fails to inspire! This was my fourth ART conference, although my first since gaining full membership. Every year there is an impressive line-up of speakers who share their varied experiences, reminding us how we should focus our efforts. Simon Linford’s presentation about the kids’ group, Brumdingers, was really enlightening, but I’m afraid it was young Charlie whose giggles and interjections stole that show! That in itself, of course, confirmed to the audience how wonderful it can be when children engage with, and are inspired by, successful group teaching.

We were challenged with the need to develop more ‘apps’ which will stimulate the interest and interaction of young people on their learning journey. I loved that idea and think it will appeal to many adult learners too. Trisha Hawkins

Colin Parker's talk created a lot of Facebook traffic and comments:

  • This is great. An inspirational talk by Colin Parker
  • This is new to me, so well worth hearing ... linking ringing to Strava and Swarm etc.
  • Our young learners love collecting the bells on OPL cards. (whilst being on ART scheme). Put on Apps too ... good idea.

In the presentations at the ART conference, the very strong message came through that the younger generation found that ringing could be FUN and something to share with their mates.They are the ones who are so computer savvy that they are going to find it easy to run these programmes to help them learn to ring. It is just up to us oldies to supply them with the hardware and software and they – the next generation will do the rest! Shelagh Cox

Thoughts from conference newbies

From the outside, the ART might appear quite a prescriptivist movement – at the core of its operations lies the Learning the Ropes scheme, a shopping list for new learners to tick off as they progress through the multifarious world of bell ringing. But the tone set by the conference was anything but; rather than a day being told “this is how you should teach”, there was a strong emphasis on “this is what I’ve tried”, with ample opportunity to interject “well it definitely didn’t work for me!”. It came up again and again that a one-size-fits-all model for teaching isn’t going to succeed, and that the diversity of experience within the ART is one of its greatest strengths. Oliver P Bardsley

My first ART conference, and after braving the snow what a day I had. Various stalls and interesting talks combined with friendly faces and chatter topped off with plenty of tea and food. Ian Kerwin

ART Awards

ART’s guidance has made an amazing difference to our local teaching for many years now (and perhaps confirmed that we are on the right lines with the wonderful ART Award we received) but the annual ‘fix’ of coming to the conference gives the boost we all need, not just from listening as a delegate, but also from the enjoyment of networking, learning from and talking to other teachers all with the same goal . Trisha Hawkins

We at Roos are highly delighted and excited to receive our award and are busy spreading the word in this little corner of the world. The communications officer at the York Diocese are producing a press release and we hit the dizzy heights of 'The Holderness Gazette' tomorrow! Helen Audley

The Simulator Day

Sunday saw ART and CCCBR coming together to demonstrate simulators. With dumbbells and mini rings to have a go on it was a good way to end an enjoyable and informative weekend. Ian Kerwin

The new user

The Simulator Day run by the CCCBR Education Committee as part of the ART Conference was just the ‘kick up the backside’ that I needed to get on with the process of installing a simulator in our tower. My main requirement is for a teaching set-up, and this day was ideally arranged to help me find out about the various options.There were three sessions in which the three groups – arranged according to the experience of the participants – rotated around two presentations, software and hardware, and a practical session on dumb bells and the Charmborough Ring. Shelagh Cox

The occasional user

The Sunday session aimed to arm people with the knowledge and confidence to make more and better use of simulators in their teaching, whether it be that dormant equipment already sitting in their tower or a more up-to-date plug-and-play option. Roger Booth and Paul Lewis talked through and demonstrated key features of the different simulator software packages and gave hints and suggestions as how best to use for people in the early stages of learning to ring.

Simulators can free learners from the embarrassment of having to try out exercises for the first time in front of the rest of the band and can aid that Conference buzzword “gamification”!

Even I found the practical session using different types of dumbbells fun, despite being a bit bobbins with mini-rings. The joyous sparring of Steve Farmer and Tony Croft took us through the sensor hardware options and made it all seem a bit less difficult.

I only wish this event had been a couple of years ago when I first embarked on my own battle with an unused simulator; it would have seemed so much less daunting. But it has given me lots of ideas for future use and development and I now have some idea of where to turn when I need help. Catherine Sturgess

The experienced user

I thought the whole idea of the day was excellent and obviously very relevant for ART Members in the teaching/learning context especially how the software is being developed with ART's schemes in mind. Although I have used simulators for 20+ years in a teaching context, not just silent practices, the day gave me the opportunity to experience at first hand some of these developments. Definitely an event that should be repeated. Alan Bentley

» More about the Simulator Day and presenters

Helen Audley
Oliver P Bardsley
Alan Bentley
Vikki Bulbeck
Shelagh Cox
Trisha Hawkins
Jacquie Hazell
Ian Kerwin
Catherine Sturgess

Helen Audley
Alan Bentley
Sam Bolingbrook
John Cater